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CYPERACEAE SEDGE FAMILY

S. Galen Smith, except as noted

Annual, perennial herb, often rhizomed or stoloned, often of wet open places; roots fibrous; monoecious, dioecious, or flowers bisexual. Stem: generally 3-sided, generally solid. Leaf: generally 3-ranked; base sheathing, sheath generally closed, ligule generally 0; blade (0 or) linear, parallel-veined. Inflorescence: spikelets generally arranged in head-, spike-, raceme-, or panicle-like inflorescences; flower generally sessile in axil of flower bract, enclosed in a sac-like structure (perigynium) or generally not. Flower: unisexual or bisexual, small, generally wind-pollinated; perianth 0 or generally bristle like; stamens generally 3, anthers attached at base, 4 chambered; ovary superior, chamber 1, ovule 1, style 2–3-branched. Fruit: achene, 2–3 sided.
± 100 genera, 5000 species: especially temperate. [Gilmour et al. 2013 Kew Bull 68:85–105] Difficult; taxa differ in technical characters of inflorescence, fruit. In Carex and Kobresia, what appear to be individual pistillate flowers in fact are highly reduced inflorescences (whether or not the same applies to staminate flowers is still under debate). In some other works (e.g., FNANM) these are called spikelets, and they are treated as being arranged in spikes. Here and in TJM (1993), what appear to be individual pistillate flowers are called pistillate flowers in Carex (and they are treated as being arranged in spikelets), but spikelets in Kobresia (and they are treated as being arranged into spikes). Though internally inconsistent, the approach here is consistent with traditional usage, and reflects a preference for character states that may be determined in the field. Molecular, morphological, and embryological evidence indicates that Eriophorum crinigerum is to be segregated to a new genus, as Calliscirpus criniger (A. Gray) C.N. Gilmour et al., along with a second, newly described species, Calliscirpus brachythrix C.N. Gilmour et al. (Gilmour et al. 2013); key to genera modified by Peter W. Ball to include Calliscirpus. —Scientific Editors: S. Galen Smith, Thomas J. Rosatti, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Unabridged references: [Ball et al. 2002 FNANM 23:1–608; Bruhl 1995 Australian Syst Bot 8:125–305; Tucker 1987 J Arnold Arbor 68:361–445;]

Key to Cyperaceae

ISOLEPIS
Annual, perennial herb, cespitose, rhizomed or not. Stem: simple, cylindric, <= 0.5 mm diam, not hollow. Leaf: basal, spiraled, 1–few; blade vestigial to >> sheath, <= 1 mm wide; ligule 0. Inflorescence: terminal, head-like, inflorescence bracts 1–2, 2–33 mm, leaf-like; spikelets 1–3(15), ± ovate, ± flat or not, many-flowered, 1–10 mm, 1–2 mm wide; flower bracts spiraled, each with 1 flower in axil, ovate, membranous, tip entire, generally short-awned. Flower: bisexual; perianth 0; stamens 1–3, anthers >= 0.6 mm; style 1, thread-like, base ± enlarged or not, stigmas 2–3. Fruit: ± wide-obovate, generally ± white to dark brown, minute-papillate, prominent-ridged lengthwise, or smooth, mucronate; tubercle 0.
69 species: temperate, subtropics, ± worldwide, especially Africa, Australia. (Greek: equal flower bract) [Muasya et al. 2007 Novon 17:59]
Unabridged etymology: (Greek, isos, equal, similar, and lepis a flower bract)
Unabridged references: [Muasya et al. 2006 Novon 16:19–20; Smith 2002 FNANM 23:137–140; Musaya & Simpson 2002 Kew Bull 57:257–362]

Key to Isolepis

I. cernua (Vahl) Roem. & Schult.
NATIVE
Annual (perennial herb?) 4–40 cm. Leaf: 1. Inflorescence: inflorescence bracts 2–6(23) mm; flower bracts not clasping shed fruit, basal <= 2 mm, others 1.2–1.8 mm, awn < 0.1 mm. Flower: stigmas 2–3. Fruit: 0.8–1 mm, 0.5–0.7 mm wide, 2–3-sided, shallower than wide, sides convex or ± concave, fine-papillate or smooth.
2n=30. Sandy, sometimes brackish sea shores, bluffs, sand dunes, creeks, marshes; < 800 m. North Coast, Great Central Valley, Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast, San Bernardino Mountains/Desert Mountains; to British Columbia; Texas (naturalized); South America, Eurasia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand. [Scirpus cernuus Vahl] Late spring–winter [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Dec 19 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Isolepis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=79218, accessed on Dec 19 2014

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Isolepis cernua Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.